The Washington Times - September 27, 2011, 06:50AM

The Washington Monument will remain closed indefinitely as the result of a cracks created by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the area on Aug. 23. Park service officials said Monday that engineers are continuing their work on a complete exterior survey of the 555-foot structure, according to The Washington Times.

The son of former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry is set to be sentenced for possessing marijuana and PCP. Marion Christopher Barry pleaded guilty in July. Prosecutors are recommending a judge sentence him Tuesday to six months in jail on the PCP charge and three months on the marijuana charge. In 1990, during his third term as mayor, then-Mayor Marion Barry, a Democrat, was videotaped smoking crack cocaine in a hotel room in an FBI sting operation. He served six months in federal prison. He was elected to a fourth term as mayor in 1994 and now serves on the D.C. Council. The younger Barry is Marion Barry’s only child, according to the Associated Press.


The Redskins came within three minutes of defeating arch-rival Dallas Cowboys, in a game that ended shortly before midnight. A 3-0 record was close enough to taste, but the Redskins’ evolution never was going to be easy. They still are a work in progress, and Dallas provided a gutting reminder. The weight of Washington’s lackluster offense proved too great a burden for the defense in the final minutes. The Cowboys converted third-and-21 en route to Dan Bailey’s 40-yard field goal with 1 minute, 47 seconds remaining and beat the Redskins, 18-16, writes Rich Campbell of The Times.

A Marine Reservist accused of shooting at the Pentagon and other military buildings in the area last fall apparently tried to escape his jail cell by digging through a cinder-block wall, authorities said. Yonathan Melaku, 23, who is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, was charged Monday with damaging his cell to aid escape and possession of an instrument to aid escape, according to the Washington Post.

Virginia is home to four of 10 richest counties in the nation, yet the statewide child poverty rate is at its highest level since 1998 and the number of residents who live in deep poverty has jumped by more than 20 percent since 2007, according to newly released census data, reports David Sherfinski of The Times.

The District is netting more than $1 million a year nabbing drivers gabbing on their cell phones while driving. More than 10,800 tickets for driving while using a cell phone have been issued this fiscal year, which ends Friday, according to the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, the Washington Examiner reports.

D.C. officials will meet today to make sure spending pressures do not trip up plans to keep at least 3,800 Metropolitan Police Department officers on the street — a goal that was established during budget talks for the fiscal year that begins Saturday. Police staffing became a red-letter topic during discussions of the D.C. Council’s priorities for additional revenues for fiscal 2012, with council member Phil Mendelson voting down a budget that did not rank it as the top concern, reports Tom Howell Jr. of The Times.

A woman was taken to a hospital Monday after being injured by a toilet, according to NBC-4 TV. The woman was hurt when the toilet she was using at the General Services Administration building in Southwest exploded, D.C. Fire and EMS said. The cause of the explosion is under investigation. The woman was seriously hurt but is expected to be OK.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s rise on the national political scene placed him before hundreds of Republicans on Monday in New Hampshire, one of the most political states in the country. He used the opportunity in part to criticize President Obama and talk about “the Virginia story.” The new chairman of the Republican Governors Association and the subject of vice presidential speculation headlined a Republican Party fundraiser here, delivering a roughly 14-minute speech that ranged from aiming to capture the state’s governorship in 2012 to reversing President Barack Obama’s 2008 wins in Virginia and New Hampshire, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.